The Agriculture Department has set a target of producing 13 lakh tonne of paddy in East Godavari district this kharif season as against 12.2 lakh tonne last year. The farmers have already completed 20% sowings in the district while only 9% was done by this time last year. The total acreage for kharif in the district is 2.74 lakh hectare out of which paddy is being sown in 2.32 lakh hectare.
According to Joint Director of Agriculture Prasad, paddy yield was going to arrive by October this year and there was a fear of torrential rains in between. They were advising farmers of upland areas to go for pulses as the third crop and the latter were willing for it as deficit rainfall was recorded in these areas. The agriculture department had estimated that it would take one more month for sowings in the Agency area as well as in upland areas.
Generally, kharif paddy plantation is being disturbed due to torrential rains witnessed from the second week of July to August last and again in November in almost all mandals in the district.
The Godavari delta modernisation has not been done for the last three decades and the irrigation and flood works departments have failed to maintain drains and sluices which are a major threat for water logging. There are 889 revenue drains, 262 medium and 19 major drains in the district, which have not been modernised for two to three decades. The modernisation of the Godavari Delta did not include these drains and sluices in the second phase also.
The agriculture department is completing the e-crop programme speedily and giving seeds through the bio-metric system. According to JD Mr. Prasad, there were enough stocks of fertilizers in the district. About 1.7 lakh tonne of various fertilizers were ready for distribution.
He said that they were going to disburse Rs. 4,250 crore of crop loans this year. While 35% was already distributed (Rs. 1,482 crore) the rest of the amount would be distributed before August 31.